COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — An anti-abortion protest group is scrapping plans to return to the campus of Columbus State University Friday, after several students launched counter protests.
This week, CSU students were informed that “The Center For Bio-ethical Reform” (CBR) would be on campus through Friday as a part of their Genocide Awareness Project. The group is known for displaying graphic imagery to discourage abortions. Several CSU students rallied in protest of the imagery and directed students around the display.
CBR did not return to campus Friday April 1, cutting their three-day visit short.
A representative says the group only uses the images for educational purposes.
“We try to make a point of coming to the public square and to college campuses specifically because this is where the future leaders of America are. This is where people are being trained and where people are forming their opinions about the world in the marketplace of ideas, and as pro-life advocates, we want people to see that abortion decapitates tiny human beings. And we want to hopefully show them the humanity of the pre-born and the inhumanity of abortion,” said a CBR representative.
Students say their issue isn’t with the subject matter, but how it was displayed.
“The goal and mission of our group was not to have a pro-life or pro-choice debate. That is not what we stood for. We had many students who were both pro-life and pro-choice that were protesting and redirecting students. Our goal was simply to say, ‘we did not consent to seeing this graphic content, and it’s not okay to display that on our campus without student consent or warning,’” CSU student Vienne Borg shared.
When asking CBR their response to the counter protests put on by CSU students, the CBR representative said they were happy to see students reacting to their content.
“We support their right to free speech because we believe that free speech is important for us to have discourse as a nation. And honestly, we’re kind of glad that they’re here because they draw more attention to us than if they were to just leave us alone. We’re glad when we see that people care about this issue and that they’re not apathetic on either side. And so we hope that people who are walking by and who are just on the fence will go over and we’ll talk to the protesters, and then they’ll come over and talk to us and that they’ll be able to have that back and forth dialog of seeing both sides of the issue,” a representative said.
CBR staged demonstrations at Auburn University this week. Auburn’s “Fridays for the Future” organization launched protests there, calling the imagery inappropriate.
In organizing their counter protests on campus the group also believes the images shown by CBR were too explicit in content.
“No matter your opinion on Abortion, the images shown on campus today were too graphic and did not have the Auburn Family’s well-being in mind.”